When Brian Dickson was appointed in 1973, the Supreme Court of Canada was preoccupied with run-of-the-mill disputes. By the time he retired as Chief Justice of Canada in 1990, the Court had become a major national institution, very much in the public eye. The Court's decisions, reforming large areas of private and public law under the Charter of Rights, were the subject of intense public interest and concern.
Brian Dickson played a leading role in this transformation. Engaging and incisive, Brian Dickson: A Judge's Journey traces Dickson's life from a Depression-era boyhood in Saskatchewan, to the battlefields of Normandy, the boardrooms of corporate Canada and high judicial office, and provides an inside look at the work of the Supreme Court during its most crucial period. Dickson's journey was an important part of the evolution of the Canadian judiciary and of Canada itself. Sharpe and Roach have written an accessible biography of one of Canada's greatest legal figures that provides new insights into the work of Canada's highest court.
About the authors
Robert J. Sharpe is judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He taught at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto from 1976 to 1988 and served under Chief Justice Brian Dickson as Executive Legal Officer at the Supreme Court Canada from 1988 to 1990.
Kent Roach is a professor of law and the Prichard-Wilson Chair of Law and Public Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and of Yale University, and a former law clerk to Justice Bertha Wilson of the Supreme Court of Canada. Professor Roach has been editor-in-chief of the Criminal Law Quarterly since 1998. In 2002, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2013 he was one of four academics awarded a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship. He is the author of twelve books, including Constitutional Remedies in Canada (winner of the Walter Owen Prize); Due Process and Victims’ Rights (shortlisted for the Donner Prize); The Supreme Court on Trial (shortlisted for the Donner Prize); Brian Dickson: A Judge’s Journey (winner of the Dafoe Prize; co-authored with Robert J. Sharpe); and The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism (winner of the David Mundell Medal). He is the co-editor of several collections of essays and published casebooks, including most recently Comparative Counter-Terrorism Law, which arose from his role as General Reporter on Counter-Terrorism Law for the XIX International Congress on Comparative Law held in 2014. With Justice Robert Sharpe, he is the co-author of The Charter of Rights and Freedoms volume in Irwin Law’s Essentials of Canadian Law series. False Security: The Radicalization of Canada’s Terror Law, co-authored with Craig Forcese, was published by Irwin Law in 2015. He has also written over 200 articles and chapters published in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as in Canada. Professor Roach has served as research director for the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario (the Goudge Inquiry) and for the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182. In both capacities, he edited multiple volumes of research studies. He served on the research advisory committee for the inquiry into the rendition of Maher Arar and the Ipperwash Inquiry into the killing of Dudley George. He was a special advisor to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools. Professor Roach has represented Aboriginal and civil liberties groups in many interventions before the courts, including Gladue, Wells, Ipeelee, and Anderson on sentencing Aboriginal offenders; Latimer on mandatory minimum sentences; Stillman, Dunedin Construction, Downtown East Side Sex Workers, and Ward on Charter remedies; Golden on strip searches; Khawaja on the definition of terrorism; and Corbiere and Sauvé on voting rights. He is the faculty lead for the Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights.
- Winner, Dafoe Book Prize, JW Dafoe Foundation
‘This is an important and historic work ... With impeccable research and meticulous analysis, Sharpe and Roach give readers unprecedented access to Dickson’s life and career.’
Winnipeg Free Press
‘Both as a biography and as an exposition of judging at the highest level, this is a vital piece of writing. Were it a legal judgment, it would constitute a landmark.’
Globe and Mail
‘Not just a lawyer’s book, nor simply a biography, but a book of important modern Canadian political history ... [Brian Dickson] takes the reader on a tour of what is unique about Canada through the life of one of its greatest citizens.’
Great Plains Quarterly
‘The authors write in a style that rivals Dickson’s for clarity and force.’
Other titles by Robert Sharpe
Other titles by Kent Roach
Canadian Justice, Indigenous Injustice
The Gerald Stanley and Colten Boushie Case
Criminal Law, 7/e
The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-Terrorism
Criminal Law, 6/e
Acting for Freedom
Fifty Years of Civil Liberties in Canada
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 5/e
Criminal Law 5/e
Forensic Investigations and Miscarriages of Justice
The Rhetoric Meets The Reality